HARRISBURG (Nov. 7, 2022) —Joseph J. Khan, county solicitor, Bucks County Law Department, will receive the Pennsylvania Bar Association (PBA) Government Lawyer of the Year Award during the PBA Committee/Section Day on Nov. 17 in Harrisburg.
The award was founded by the PBA Government Lawyers Committee to honor a government lawyer who has made a significant singular contribution or has dedicated his or her career to outstanding service to the profession for the benefit of the public or a government entity.
Appointed county solicitor by the Bucks County Board of Commissioners in 2020, Khan serves as the chief legal officer for the fourth largest county in Pennsylvania. As head of the Bucks County Law Department, Khan initiates lawsuits brought by and defends all lawsuits brought against the county and its subdivisions and employees. Khan also oversees Bucks County’s Legal Services Division, which includes the Law Department, the Department of Consumer Protection/Weights and Measures, and the Office of the Public Defender.
In this position, Khan and his team have drafted innovative legislation, including Pennsylvania’s first used car lemon law; first countywide ordinance regulating massage parlors to fight human trafficking; and policy reforms on issues such as fair chance and equal pay hiring, voter protection and prison oversight. He also formed a bipartisan partnership with the Bucks County district attorney to protect consumers, starting with a joint lawsuit against companies whose products were responsible for severe water pollution in Bucks County. In addition, Khan has provided comprehensive in-house representation to the Buck County Children and Youth Social Services Agency.
In recognition for his work, in 2021, Khan received the Outstanding Solicitor Award by the County Commissioners Association of Pennsylvania for his role in enacting the new administration’s vision for transparency, ethics and excellence in county government.
Outside of his current position, since 2015, Khan has served as an adjunct faculty member at the University of Pennsylvania Law School. He also is chair of the Governance Committee for Smith Memorial Playground and Playhouse, a nonprofit organization that provides unstructured creative play for children 10 and younger. Previously, Kahn served on the Pennsylvania Governor’s Advisory Commission on Asian Pacific American Affairs.
Prior to his appointment as county solicitor, Khan built an award-winning public interest law practice. For a decade, he served as an assistant U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, where he resolved high stakes matters across southeastern Pennsylvania and led city hall corruption probes in Allentown and Reading. At the beginning of his career, he worked in the Philadelphia District Attorney’s office prosecuting sexual assault, child abuse and domestic violence cases. His commentary on those topics has been featured in national and local media.
Khan received his Juris Doctor from the University of Chicago Law School and his bachelor’s degree from Swarthmore College. He is a Litigation Counsel of America Fellow.